Riding on South African roads, whether on-road or off-road is not for the fainthearted. When considering a ride, ask yourself first if your bike is suitable for what you want to do. The main thing for a safe and comfortable ride is the tyres. Are they ideal for tarred roads? Are they suitable for gravel of off-road riding?

Metzeler Karoo is suitable for offroad driving, their long-lasting and durable. The extra spacing between the knobs allows for more footprint on the road, giving the bike more traction. Scorpion Rally brought out by Pirelli for the offroad races, such as the Dakar. The rubber compound has been tested under severe conditions and over long distances. The reinforced basic structure has decreased slide and temperature by 10% and 10degrees, respectively. The knob configuration on the front tyre improves handling, and the shape on the rear tyre allows for better manoeuvrability, especially on the turns and bends.

Heidenau has been manufacturing tyres for over 70 years and has 550 different designs to suit all road conditions. To counter all the loads and forces bikes put on their tyres, Heidenau has strengthened the tyre walls. To help riders, Heidenau has brought out the K60 Scout for all conditions. If you are riding on tarred roads, you will need a stickier tyre and a harder tyre for rough roads and off-road riding. Heidenau tested their tyres under South African conditions for two years before bringing out the K60 which has proved to be a winner under all circumstances.

Choosing the tyres for your bike

Bias-ply. The nylon plies run from bead to bead at 45 degrees to the direction of travel, alternation from the course at each layer. Radial Steel Belt. The first part is the casing which incorporates the single-ply running at 90 degrees to the beads. On the housing is the steel belt (coated in rubber to stop delamination) sitting under the tread, and then over the lot goes the rubber crown.

Radial steel belts allow for high speed on tarred surfaces. Softer sidewalls but thicker crown due to the steel belt. Wall and tyre act independently of each other. Bias Ply has thicker sidewalls for cut resistance. These tyres are a single unit, so when side walls deflate it affects the tread pattern. Correct tyre pressure is the key to good tyre care. Incorrect pressure can lead to heat build-up will affect the handling, shorten tyre life, and can even lead to tyre failure and finally, remember the saying from the South African motor Bike Association.